Visit Date: September 23, 2014
One of the coolest things about my epic "Adios, I’m going to Texas” roadtrip was that I never knew what I was going to find when I turned off the interstate and explored the small towns along old Route 66. Holbrook was no exception. Born during the early 1880s as a railroad town and named after the first engineer of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, Holbrook was a true wild west town for many years (Pleasant Valley War). It was also a busy place during the heyday of Route 66 and I saw a lot of history from that time period when I visited: Teepees/Wigwams, vintage cars, dinosaurs, petrified wood, old and quirky with new and modern, abandoned buildings/restored buildings and always interesting people. Had time permitted, I could have probably spent an entire day, rather than only an hour or two, in most of the places I visited along the way.
Wigwam Village Motel #6 is one of the original seven Wigwam Motels between 1936 and the early 1950s. Each of the fifteen concrete and steel freestanding teepees are 21 feet wide at the base and 28 feet high. And if you’re wondering why it’s called the Wigwam Village instead of the Teepee Village, apparently the architect who patented the wigwam village design in 1936 didn’t like the word ‘teepee’ so used ‘wigwam’ instead. More about the man behind the wigwam.
The Rainbow Rock Shop has several dinosaurs hanging around, which makes it pretty hard to miss. There's a bunch of neat stuff in this old 66 stop. One thing to remember, get a receipt for any petrified wood purchases if you’re also going to be visiting the Petrified Forest.
The Geronimo Trading Post is located a couple miles west of Holbrook and is a great place to stop if you enjoy souvenir shops with literally thousands and thousands of geegaws for sale. There's a lot to look at in the building which is home to the trading post. Interesting stuff is scattered about the grounds too.
Stewart's Petrified Wood Shop is located a few miles east of Holbrook, right off I-40. I actually found the surrounding grounds more interesting to look at than the store inside, but I'm a little different. I must say, if awards were given for the Route 66 store with the most dust on its items for sale, Stewart's would be my first place pick. It's definitely worth a stop if you're in the area, a free piece of petrified wood is given to everyone who stops by. After wandering about the grounds (I didn't feed the ostriches) for a while taking pictures, I went inside and checked out the fossils, dinosaur bones, meteorites and petrified wood. I bought a huge chunk of glass that weighed about 6 pounds and then was on my way to the next adventure, the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert.